Wanderers to tinker with winning formula

Wanderers' Rhys Williams leads the applause of fans after their win over the Phoenix in Woollongong.
Wanderers' Rhys Williams leads the applause of fans after their win over the Phoenix in Woollongong.

Carl Robinson will continue to tinker with his Western Sydney side after they claimed their first win of the A-League Men's season in Wollongong.

After two draws to open their campaign, the Wanderers downed Wellington Phoenix 2-0 at WIN Stadium on Friday with Tomer Hemed and John Koutroumbis scoring in the second half.

Robinson dropped Dimitri Petratos and Ramy Najjarine from his starting side with Japanese import Keijiro Ogawa and England international Jack Rodwell preferred against the Phoenix after an unconvincing draw against Newcastle the week prior.

While there were times when Wellington looked like the better of the two sides, the Welshman said he was happy with his side's resolve to keep a clean sheet.

"I was disappointed with how the boys played last week," Robinson said.

"Today was all about rolling up your sleeves. We tracked back well and defended our box well and put our bodies on the line.

"We defended well and defending is an art. You've got to high-five each other and enjoy it.

"We like to play from the back and build and we knew they liked to press from the front.

"We took that out of their hands and we went long from goalkicks. That won't happen again.

"We changed formations and there are little adjustments in each game depending on the personnel and the team we are playing."

The Wanderers face Macarthur FC next weekend at home, but must face off against APIA Leichhardt in the FFA Cup at Leichhardt Oval on Tuesday.

Robinson hinted that he would make at least five changes, with reserve goalkeeper Daniel Margush likely to replace reliable Spaniard Tomas Mejias between the sticks.

"We've got a very good squad and I've got tremendous faith in my young players and some of the younger players will play," he said.

"It's a game we've got to take seriously and we will. You're not going to see wholesale changes.

"My goalkeeper will change, I'll play Margs - he's been very patient - and there are subs who will play. It's a tricky game for us because we want to get through that round."

Australian Associated Press